The lovely little island of Jersey was never really on my radar. I was much more interested in far-flung exotic locations such as South Africa and Vietnam or jam-packed city escapes to happening Prague, Berlin and London.
After 8 months of constant travel, just under 20 flights, and one very worn passport, my body and mind was aching for a break. A digital detox, an escape from the constant rush of big cities, the dread of long bus journeys and the stress that often accompanies long-distance trips.
At first, I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about Jersey. It is famous for a few things; being somewhat of a tax haven, a discreet financial regime and of course the Jersey Cow, popular for the high butterfat content of their milk!
Jersey Island, I was soon to discover, had a lot more going for it than I could ever have expected. From the moment myself and my friend Amanda stepped on the plane at Dublin airport, we knew this trip was going to be different. First off, it was my first time on a propeller plane which was an experience in itself.
Everyone on the flight seemed so calm and peaceful. There were no loud stag parties, no stressed out business men. Just families, couples, and small groups of friends en route to a little pocket of paradise. A tranquil retreat, lying just one hour and twenty minutes from Dublin and yet what felt like 1,0000’s of miles apart.
We even managed to have a peek inside the cockpit and have a friendly chat with the Aer Lingus Regional pilots upon arrival. Turns out one of them knew a friend of mine. It was that kind of flight, and that kind of wonderful start to a great weekend.
On the bus to St Helier, we were greeted by a tanned and smiling bus driver, who had to excuse himself briefly while he scoffed down two Chocolate jaffa cakes that were wrapped in a paper towel, no doubt a treat prepared for him by his wife that morning. In my mind, I was briefly transported to summers down in West Cork, and childhood memories spent in small seaside communities. Except the reality was that the journey to Jersey was actually shorter than driving from to Dublin to Cork, and the weather was blissfully better!
We checked into the Pontac House Hotel, a small hotel in St Clement, with stunning views of the beach and surrounding coastline. The hotel also had its own private back garden with a swimming pool, much to our delight! The hotel had made a slight mix up with our booking, which resulted in us being rewarded with one night for free. “More spending money for delicious wine,” I thought to myself.
Our weekend in Jersey consisted of indulging in delicious local food such as fresh Jersey Yogurt, which we were treated to with fresh fruit each morning, sipping wine at a variety of coastal restaurants and bars and many hours spent cycling the islands’ green ways; small lane ways and paths through farms and along the beautiful coast, designated for people on two wheels.
I was seriously impressed by how cycle friendly the island was, with a network of over 350 miles of roads, byways and lanes to explore, It was so easy to get from village to village, or from the far East of the island to the very West. We spent both afternoons meandering around the island, stopping off at quiet beaches, sea water swimming pools, martello towers and the spectacular Mont Orgueil Castle, which protected Jersey from the French for over 600 years.
Live in the ‘real capital’? Aer Lingus Regional also fly Cork – Jersey up to twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. These flights finish up for the summer on September 5th so you better be quick.